29 Sep 2011

This year the 40th anniversary of first known virus

With 2011 being the 40th anniversary of the first virus, according to the Wall Street Journal, now is a good time for computer users of all kind to check their computers to make sure antivirus software is up to date.

The news source said the first computer virus was a laboratory experiment that didn't cause damage but provided to be a harbinger of risks to come. The first virus was called the Creeper and was known as a "virus-like" program that was written by an employee of Arpanet, the predecessor to the internet. The virus was made to test whether it was possible to create a self-replicating bit of software.

In the mid-1990s, the Wall Street Journal said phishing became a popular way to collect confidential information from what at first appears to be a trustworthy source. The tactic didn't rely on malware and was therefore groundbreaking, as it took advantage of the gullibility of computer users to get information.

ComputerWorld said that for businesses, keeping antivirus up to date is extremely important, but there are other steps that need to be taken. The website said to enforce strict downloading policies, block unwanted file types from the email gateway and set a policy on hoaxes and chain letters.